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Sunday, 17 August 2014 23:26

Crawdads Dominate in Sunday Win

Zach Cone has two doubles in Hickory win Zach Cone has two doubles in Hickory win Hickory Crawdads

The Hickory Crawdads jumped out to an early lead Sunday evening and never looked back, as the 'Dads utilized a five-run 1st inning to propel them to a 7-2 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads sent all nine batters to the plate in the decisive first frame, with the first five players all collecting hits en route to scoring five runs for the early advantage. The opening inning outburst provided more than enough support for Hickory pitchers David Ledbetter and Luis Ortiz, who combined to hold the Shorebirds to two runs on three hits and eight combined strikeouts.

The win gave the 'Dads a four-game series split against the 'Birds, while improving their record against Delmarva to 9-2 on the season. The Crawdads won the last two games of the series on the strength of the offense, with the 'Dads scoring a combined 13 runs on 24 hits after being held to two runs on 13 total hits while dropping the first two games of the series.

The 1st inning rally began with a double off the left field fence from Michael De Leon and a bunt single by Luis Marte, before Ronald Guzman brought in the first run with a RBI single to left. Zach Cone followed with a RBI double down the right field line and Joe Jackson singled in a run with a base knock to left to make the score 3-0 with the first five Crawdads batters recording a hit. Following a walk to Jairo Beras, Kevin Torres plated another run on a RBI groundout while Janluis Castro capped off the big inning with a RBI sacrifice fly to right for a 5-0 'Dads lead.

The Shorebirds got on the board in the top of the 2nd, when Ledbetter allowed the only hit and run of his 6-inning performance on a solo home run by Creede Simpson to cut the score to 5-1. The Hickory lead then grew to its largest in the bottom of the 3rd, when Kevin Torres lined a 2-run homer to right to push the 'Dads advantage to 7-1.

Delmarva brought in their final run with another solo big fly in the 7th, this time with Drew Dosch connecting on a home run to right off of Ortiz. The 18-year-old hurler settled down after that however, shutting down the 'Birds over the final two frames to finish out the Crawdads 7-2 win.

Ledbetter (6-6) earned the win after tying a season high with six innings pitched, allowing only one run on one hit, no walks, and six strikeouts. Ortiz earned his first save of the year with one run given up on two hits, one walk, and two Ks. Delmarva starter Luis Gonzalez (6-3) took the loss after allowing all seven 'Dads runs on seven hits, three walks, and three strikeouts during his four innings pitched.

Eight of the nine Crawdads batters reached base safely at least once, while six of the nine starters scored at least one run as well. Torres led the attack with a 1-4 game including his fourth home run of the year and three RBI. Cone finished the game 2-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, a RBI, and a walk, while Jackson ended the night 2-4 with a RBI and a run scored.

The Crawdads (31-26) have an off day on Monday before beginning a three game series in Augusta against the GreenJackets on Tuesday.

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